Roster fits and quotes for Packers Day 3 draft picks

By: Paul Bretl 4/29/24

As Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has done previously, when there is a positional need entering the draft, he won’t just address it early, but he will utilize multiple selections in an effort to fill that hole.

The 2024 draft was no different. The three biggest needs that the Packers had to tackle were the offensive line, safety, and linebacker. Well, of the Packers 11 picks, three went towards the offensive line, three were spent on the safety position, and two more on linebackers.

“I think we try to follow the board,” said Gutekunst about adding multiple players at positions, “and I’d like to think that we’re disciplined enough that even though we’ve picked a guy at that position, if there’s, if the highest rated guy’s at that position we’re not afraid to stay there. 

“I think you can make a mistake maybe because, Hey, we just picked a guy at this position. Maybe we should not take him, even though he might be the highest-rated guy. But I think we did a pretty good job of staying disciplined to the process, trusting the board. It happened a couple of times this weekend. It’s happened before where we just kind of said, ‘OK. Maybe took a guy here, but this is the best player that’s on the board and let’s stay with it.”

Along with those three positions, Gutekunst also added some needed competition at running back for the backup role behind Josh Jacobs, a quarterback, which he told us he wanted to do all the way back at the NFL Combine, and a cornerback, another position that, to varying degrees, was considered a need prior to the draft.

After taking a closer look at the roster fits for the Packers selections on Days 1 and 2 of the draft, it’s now time to do the same for Day 3, along with some insights from Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur, and the Packers’ scouting department.

Evan Williams, S

The Packers VP of Player Personnel, Jon-Eric Sullivan, mentioned that Williams, like Bullard, is someone that they see being able to play in the slot as well. Although most of Williams’ snaps in college came in the box, the Packers were impressed by him at the Senior Bowl, specifically his movement ability, which is why they believe he can handle slot duties. Williams filled many roles at Oregon in 2023, making plays in the run game and often around the ball in the passing game.

“He’s smart, he’s instinctive, he’s a good kid, he makes tackles, makes play around the ball,” said Packers long-time scout Sam Seale. “He’s always around the ball…I think he’ll fit into our locker room because he’s a good guy, we won’t have to worry about him.” 

Jacob Monk, IOL

Monk can play all three of the interior offensive line positions, and he will likely be tasked right away with competing with Sean Rhyan at right guard and potentially Josh Myers at center for playing time. You won’t find a more experienced player than Monk, who started 57 games at Duke and did so at three different positions, including right tackle. 

 “He’s an elite wiring kind of guy,” said Sullivan. “He’s quick. He’s strong. We feel like he’s a center-guard swing guy. The thing we liked about him was his playstyle. You talk to the people at Duke, they talk about how he’s the leader of the pack. He wants to win and those guys follow him. That comes out in his playstyle. He’s a snap to whistle guy. He’s looking to bury you. He’s got a skill set to go along with it. He can get off the spot, snap, reach, and he’s got enough power and leg drive to move you if he needs to.”

Kitan Oladapo, S

While the Packers see Bullard and Williams handling more nickel responsibilities, Sullivan said that Oladapo is more of a “true safety.” His ideal role in the NFL may be as a strong safety, where he is able to play closer to the line of scrimmage and impact the run game, where he has been a reliable tackler and was PFF’s second highest-graded run defender at the safety position in 2023. Early on, Oladapo’s biggest impact will likely come on special teams or as a linebacker when the Packers want to go big when in nickel. 

“He’s a little different body type than the other two,” said Sullivan. “He’s a big, 6-2, 216-pound kid. Long arms. Aggressive, when he hits you, you go down. He’s a very good athlete at that size. He can pedal, he can flip, he can turn. He’s versatile, more of a true safety but he can play that big nickel or will linebacker if you need him too. The playstyle. Very smart. Captain as well. One, good football player, and two, the kind of person we want to infuse in this locker room.” 

Travis Glover, OT

Glover was a five-year starter at Georgia State, playing almost 4,200 career snaps. He has the ability to play both left and right tackle and even has some guard experience. Given that the Packers also drafted Morgan, who will start out on the left side, my guess is that Glover will compete at right tackle for a backup role but provide the Packers with a potential swing tackle option off the bench. Glover isn’t an elite athlete like many of the Packers draft picks, but Gutekunst did mention that they were impressed with how he performed at the Senior Bowl.

“I think it definitely helped him,” said Gutekunst about Glover’s performance at the Senior Bowl. “I think it helps anybody whether you come from a Power 5 school or whether you come from a small school, but I do think sometimes when you come from a small school you may have more questions about level of competition and then you walk out to the Senior Bowl and go against those guys and prove yourself a little bit, that certainly can help, yeah. In his case it did.”

Michael Pratt, QB

This is not an addition that should come as a surprise–Gutekunst said at the NFL Combine that he wanted to get back to developing quarterbacks. Pratt is a three-time team captain at Tulane and steadily improved his completion percentage each season. He threw 90 career touchdowns to just 26 interceptions and has a big arm. Pratt was able to strike that balance between knowing when to push the ball downfield or try to squeeze it into a tight window and when to take the check down or what was available. Pratt mentioned that he and Sean Clifford are friends, and now the two will be competing for the backup role–although I would certainly consider Clifford the favorite to win it.

“I think he’s a guy that he definitely is a tough, fearless thrower and that to me is a prerequisite with the position,” said Matt LaFleur. “You gotta be able to stand in there and throw in muddy pockets, throw in the face of pressure and I think he exhibited that. I think he’s a winner, so we were excited. We were kind of shocked that he was still there in the seventh.”

Kalen King, CB

King was an All-American in 2022 after putting together a very impressive season at Penn State. In fact, this time a year ago, many thought that he could be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Instead, King took a step back this season, allowing a completion rate of 61 percent and forcing only one pass breakup. He would also run a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. When asked, Gutekunst didn’t have any specific reason as to why his play fell off. King is an experienced player and is still just 21 years old. Given those factors, along with his play at Penn State in 2022, this pick is a swing at hitting on King’s potential. 

“Certainly, he was a guy that we expected to go higher,” said Gutekunst about King, “and as we went through it, we felt very fortunate to be able to pick him where we did. He’s got a really nice skill set. Has played some high-level football at Penn State. He’s got some versatility to play outside and to play nickel as well. And again, I think his best football is ahead of him as well. He’s a young player. He was a three-year player coming out. So, hopefully, that does drive him.”